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as boy you were some years ago today there is a lot of money they'll talk more medicare for themselves they might even move and regular early intervention is the thing a specialized education program that could start with really six weeks old and by law lasts until they are
but what happens after school and after years of hard work and a cheat at age twenty one many retarded people have learned how to work and they're able to live outside the family home but often these people disappear in homes like this city neighborhoods like you're sent live their lives that their parents the rest are live on their own but sometimes the community and the family isn't ready to let them and yes go to dallas now it's been dan's and debate just as independent second half of the race there has mostly women's twenty one character as a lawyer maybe yes
he'll give us a little bit unnerving today to try and weaken it better than what they were saying and that's what we're here to there and that's what we're here when jennifer was born naturally we're very upset and on and go through the normal grieving process that out quickly realized that mandela's appeared was no different with higher than it would be with any town jennifer hood is nineteen years old she has a job and lives with her family in auburn alabama she was born with down syndrome a condition that almost always causes some physical problems and mental retardation and alice to help them to raise their potential hazards that
they're going in and working with our not that the trial deputy larger david not expecting that they're now the idea of mainstream putting mentally retarded students in regular classrooms whenever possible was not put into practice until jennifer was well into her education still through her interactions with her family in through the efforts of dedicated teachers she's able to do many things she knew sister help out around the house caring for two adopted sisters who also have down syndrome and she holds a job at sea has had experience working in restaurants now tails humane society and and she is employed by department store claiming that kind of thing so many of those kinds of test i think you know they are able to be employed in the series there are problems it's hard to understand you know her because down syndrome makes it difficult for her to control the muscles used in speech
hearing problems are common to hear well oh jennifer that's not a gangly now ours and teachers know it has been tried to bat jennifer and her family now face to every family who had not reported child cases she's eager to start life on her own and she longs for the independent publisher enjoy that these things are an easy for her and her family to find large jennifer complete school the birds will be on their own so when the law was so good at that point to protect their rights and families right but then there's really not much there at that point jennifer's found work in jc penney using skills she learned in school and it's a demanding job most of which she does without direct supervision there's also the inevitable paperwork but getting to and from north korea world says a problem
jennifer doesn't drop its up to the family to get her to work in the world she wants to go all the relatively small town doesn't have an extensive public transportation system i mean how long feather that with an electorate to their home that that person out and make sure that they are their own plan and think so we're responsible for the transportation where a six day notice in the car industry finding a place for jennifer to live is also difficult with the little supervision she be able to live outside the home unlike others her age she's excited by the prospect but there's a shortage of group homes or resident programs in the area there is as long waiting list that i'll israel are and of cooking and existing group ocean is really expensive to keep work with others in their community to start a group home for people like jennifer but after years of work for not much closer to their goal
of trying to make it an independent group home not have to live with it and still has some mobile home or florida does have not been able to put the time into an ongoing effort has been made many more political so the only alternative jennifer is to live at home and she's welcome there but her parents wanted to be welcoming the community they want their daughter to have a place in our world i think there's an oil imports a roasted know into certain that if we are saying in their kids are viewed in all situations and restaurants where that people are becoming more accepting more aware that these kids in producing can become a taxpayer attacks board although she works in jennifer's world is centered around
her parents' home and they want her to be ready for the world when they can no longer care for her and they want the world to be ready for her that continued with five top financial edition of fish really came together pro strapped educated joe good time at the movies to do it steve paulson's journeyed independent says led him to a group home in montgomery alabama it's a journey that was is challenging to his parent says it was to him steve lived at home with them but spent days at the association for retarded children sheltered workshop the people they're encouraged the carlson's to let their son live his own life your love and devotion that town names but he also
needs to be around people his own age he needs to be experiencing like we were reluctant in part because they are we thought we'd give one thing we could do is provide a brutal for him although he would be shouldered by his parents but they convinced says that having him on this song would be good for the state twenty years ago that the likelihood of a child with no accommodation diamond instead with with very likely in today's edge medical technology now that it the norm is that parents will gather for the handicapped children at the group homes steve lives with five other mentally retarded man a counselor is always on duty to help them but in a sense it's their home and they make it work there is responsible for
laundry and for helping with nielsen and much more into the heart of running a household that was in part what surprises the group will meet other practical needs of the shuttle stephen his neighbors to and from work every day at night they board buses or bands for recreation activities this new life as nobly been liberating for steve it's been liberating truth is we have a farm that having stephen paul mentioned of of freedom to our lives we can be more productive i can do anywhere near the things that i do in the community the volunteer whether the facility for carson's are united way or the winds if well if we read steve levinthal time the carlson's experiences demonstrate how group homes can help the mentally retarded and their families live a fuller more productive lives but these residency programs are often the exception rather than the
rule and we know and we can only hope state and county governments will continue their support there's just not enough funding to take its very expensive not nearly as expensive as institutions that it's it's not cheap labor and human services is very people oriented their salary or e and it's a lot of people to run programs and funding is the major reason the groupon concept isn't new they're more recent innovative alternatives such as civilized apartments and condos but in many situations a group home is one solution that offers a more complete life to the mentally retarded his people his group no more a sort of
rewrite and we enjoy watching that they are the sheltered workshop is the traditional solution to providing work for mentally retarded adults the routine tasks are simple and repetitive here workers recycle paper from books or bundled him one but hope haven this county alabama is not the traditional approach it's a school that prepares students to give up the security of the segregated sheltered workshop for the challenges of the working world most of the term we start everyone out an adult
and a new interfaith service syria and from there the tata steel should i wouldn't have liked that the right track with what the first success stories for the association of retarded citizens of the shows this restaurant is popular because the food is good and the atmosphere is engaging the billing is an old railroad depot that the association rescued from demolition what sets this restaurant apart is its workers with a few exceptions they're mentally retarded hugh laurie learned service in class as a sheltered workshop now she's got a real job working at the right track at that after what they lack the drying and if they lost weight and it didn't sway tam are suede you know we're the one is that show there a need and as slavery that don't have shown very sleeper persuade a unifying buy things in but that's going to pay in a televised these are five bar
in the latter said that title villain and they were scared in an airplane at the net these are people it never been given a chance in ages so rail that having a job that they don't mind doing all these menial task in a non handy person might not enjoy ideally the right track is simply another classroom where these workers where their jobs are the ideas for them to go beyond this program and look in other restaurants will internally you won't get any better workers than what we have here the right track because they are really trying to weigh on in their jobs at peak form before they go out thanks to their experiences at the right track many employees have gone on to work in area restaurants but the right track is an opportunity to educate the public as well as the workers usually a sheltered workshop is it's not very visible in the community itself contained and i don't have a lot of interaction with the public's on the right track is
totally different in that the public comes very reburied from some of seeing firsthand what these people want the success of the right track record the association to try other innovative programs initial report any other programs beyond the sheltered workshop way in other parts of the country legally retarded people are cleaning motel in hotel rooms there was something that we had wanted to get into it was something he was didn't want to get involved with through and now the entire housekeeping staff that is to just don't be a motel is composed of mentally retarded workers we decided to say that as an enclave that way they would have a job cuts will be and all the term he was able to supervise they are endowing make sure that they're doing the job the way it operated
what we wanted to expose and evidently entirely that way after they learned how to do that we can move into another month tailspin of someone else and i'm quite to begin their training soldiers be a continual process in an avant clive wynne make sure that the roads are a spotless one a shape that not a burglar not not they know where their attitude is they'll get it they were playing from it it felt right and the second thing that is straddling the plane we have had people send us letters here the hope haven inside their state and women have clean it was that was one of the cleanest places that they never stagnant people who say it will stay with us just because we're there today her with my experience i think they'd have a housekeeper at a major healthcare their work here it's better
than non hindu care workers there's no community yeah some parents are aggressive like i am and says he's not going to or a single open and much outspoken and if you can accept and you've got the problem not him you get rid of tough skin about things other parents would continue maybe two naked cowboy and more of a recluse grade math and it's not like that with hot air is step of the way and i guess i really sedentary of bread when i say to determine who's got the problem and we have no problem with accepting outside
stays that carry to your own man very friendly loving caring person he has curly brown hair and blue eyes and ears dams he young has always been a very outgoing person in the back two years ago in an interest rate of depression and we've spent this time graham trying to determine the past fall he did not even acknowledge your preference to the family at that guy businesses difficult question except that has waned while state department status isi has been required to the response among he's been required to do is joe as his part of a home response about that he's been expected to sow it in everything that he does to his
limits on he writes a beautiful letters he knows how to make people feel good about themselves he knows how to graciously excuse himself when he's not wanted in the situation he's a part of our church program <unk> important parties frustration as the speculation that the report is that opportunity hasn't worked in the vip the largest ferris wheel it had a very warm or a licensed era where now they are his girlfriend i think steve realize this is going nowhere and i think this is frustrating to hear isis mr smith that's right
he has not been able to see any different alternatives that therapist is trying to get him to say that he can be independent of us in a house of his own and not going differently cheesecake in to talk about this half our shoes got and i don't know i would like very much to know that much now could function without it i think maybe it would hurt a little bit more to get a law that we've always wanted state of independent review i have i don't know if you had asked me this three years ago i would have said they are unlikely
yeah it's six in the morning about this month where a hospital in birmingham and steve hatcher the food service worker is making the rounds now thirty three years old he was born with down syndrome is mentally retarded steve hatcher is a remarkably dependable worker and a remarkably independent man has not been easy for him or his family if i had known how things have been done over the slightest is probably would've been had accosted syndrome stettner hayden the cia and im trying to forget about it steve was born before today's special programs for returning children and infants were established even begin schools until age five and his parents' often have to fight to get him in what they thought would be the best classroom for him so we had never heard of mental stimulation you didn't have any speech they are the armed occupation of
the things that helped so much with children it was a challenge for the hatches to find the best classes for their son and they pressed the schools to admit steve into regular classes as much as possible then we discovered there were no challenges ahead when he completed school sometime i think parents are terribly over protecting and we dont align our our folks to do things that they really tainted because we're afraid that they might get hurt are we afraid that other people might make fun of them but they kept the han the dignity of we ask is part of what they need to do finding work as perhaps being the most manageable risk he's able to compete on the job market because he's learned what employers expected to work he's always hear we scapegoat is good time with how they live now with news that the six years of alan lights on in every play out now
is our very difficult divisive violence only that got a complicated steve had a job but he wanted more than this risk would demand more of his family at skiing when we do we lose you're removing years and then there are as they are but when he immediately said yes in her about the incident and seven days before they get over the fact that he didn't that he was really not wanting to live at home and that this was no not other son had moved into his own apartment so why shouldn't state and the chance to do the same it took several years to find this apartment for steve and pair him with a roommate was also mentally retarded there were any assistance programs the hackers could look to for help in
fact steve would still be at home at work the generosity of a family friend who made the house available to him stephen his roommate cook and clean for themselves but they do need help with money matters housing situations where maybe they have a little more support and stagehands maybe two or three apartments with one person living there as a support person that comes in and we got along with gun this is really very badly need resources in need housing situations for adults steve also been able to assert his independence in a way only a handful of other mentally retarded people in alabama have been able to liz cries steves mother had attended an nrc workshop when he was a child and learned that some mentally retarded people with patients in practice could learn how to drive whereas it may
have very rare american family as darden nor into the air and there were very vivid faith in our world issue finding land in the parking lot and that's what we do you know when to western supermarket chain we drove away and then landed in the parking lot and that's really tempting to dreamers and supermarket parking lot i am now and they better go in a bad bad job at first an intense and some responsibility and
so it really has been tremendous steve hatcher worked diligently so he could live on his own work and even drive a car the hard part is finding the opportunities that will let him do everything he's capable work and finally steve hatcher and others like him is a new generation of mentally retarded children they started school at an earlier age so it's likely they'll be even better prepared to meet the challenges of their lifetime and when they finish school just like everyone else they'll want the opportunity to live as independently as possible they'll be ready they're going to have i don't think they need to segregate they have the same wants and desires that we do they want to have a job very often and a place to live that there had been when i was playing i would be able to go places and do things just like we do
a vacation it's over sixty minutes the truth except by jason term we just have to go into the canadian tried to educate a dance wonderful and reckless deal means a little bit of a support system and its office caring for parents but the more independent hands on the more we been packing if you have a question or comment about this program please write to lifetime university of alabama tv box sets seven no one five o tuscaloosa alabama three to five for eight seven or you may call one eight hundred two three nine five to three three un
Life Time
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
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Children with disabilities face many difficulties and realities, which may improve with adulthood, but will also take different forms as they grow older. This piece looks at the lives of children and adults with down syndrome to see what their lives are like as well as the lives of their families.
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: Davis, Brent
: Cook, Davy
: Sullivan, Preston
: Holliman, Jim
Editor: Clay, Kevin
Editor: Holt, Tony
Interviewee: Hood, Twynette
Interviewee: Robertson, Sherry
Interviewee: Hood, Lamar
Interviewee: Murray, Shelia
Interviewee: Butler, Gertrude
Interviewee: Carlson, Ray
Interviewee: Akins, Donna
Interviewee: King, Ricky
Interviewee: Fincher, Linda
Interviewee: Hinton, Margie
Interviewee: Jones, Jan
Interviewee: Hatcher, Steve
Interviewee: Hatcher, Bess
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Center for Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Alabama Center for Public Television
Identifier: cpb-aacip-9cd3343e0b3 (Filename)
Format: BetacamSP
Duration: 0:30:13
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Chicago: “Life Time,” 1991-05-09, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021,
MLA: “Life Time.” 1991-05-09. University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <>.
APA: Life Time. Boston, MA: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from